Rack Advice

-- Last Updated: Dec-04-05 12:05 AM EST --

I've got an xterra and am using xtower mounts by yakima and will be gettng crossbars shortly. We have 2 rec boats. One is a SOT and one is a SINK. Both are under 10' in length. We paddle mostly on a local urban lake less than 20 miles from the house. But occasionaly we'd like to do some weekend trips to some areas 2-3 hours away with some highway/freeway travel. Having said that. We're thinking of getting Malone racks. Any opinions on the differences between the "J" styles and the "gullwing"? I'm leaning towards the gullwing for increased gas milage. Anyone have any other thoughts?

Get yakima…
you are on the right track.



The whole post didn’t show up.

Just use foam blocks
Cheaper and more secure than saddles

Malone makes first rate carriers that beat Yakima in both price and design. Good pick.

We use Yakima racks with Malone J
stackers. A good combination which has allowed us to haul two 16’ kayaks 410 miles roundtrip wih no issues from the SF Bay area up the grade to Truckee via I-80. Very secure system. You can see a picture of our system with two kayaks loaded at the following link:


Select the “September 21” photo album from the drop down list.

Foam Blocks not a great idea…
We used foam blocks for awhile and they seemed like a good be until we got caught in a rainstorm going down the highway. The water caused the foam block in the rear to slip out from under the kayak and we nearly lost the kayak on the interstate. As tight as it was tied down–with three straps–the foam blocks failed. Now we have a Yakima rack system and use the stacker when we bring more than just the one tandem. Since then, not a single problem, even travelling long distances at about 70mph and going over the bridges in the area.

Malone Autoloaders
on Yakima bars. Best setup going.


I use the blocks on Yakima or shell
crossbars. No problems even when going up and down the pac coast or 2000+ miles

got bucks for more than foam blocks
Saris. My foam plocks are designed to be strapped to the roof.

Autoloaders seem easy
to use. We started with Yakima rack and Q-towers with a Yakima stacker on a Civic Coupe…this worked well for 2 seasons. Now I picked up a glass Pachena DX and don’t want to stack anymore. I ordered the Autoloaders from Proline Products and fit them to the rack. They seem easy to use and quick on/off the rack as well as very secure mounting on the Yakima round bars. My only concern will be at highway speeds how well the Autoloaders will hold, I did not get a chance to put my new boat in the water before Winter set in. I also considered the Yakima Mako Saddles but opted for the Autoloaders since with another pair, they would easily allow a second boat to be carried on the small roof of the Civic.